Protest Song Lyrics (logo)
Protest Song Lyrics Song lyrics categories Social Justice songs by Year Top 10 songs Musical Links About Protest Songs website

Forgotten Soldier Boy, song lyrics

Song: Forgotten Soldier Boy
Lyrics: Bert Layne(2) (3)

Music: Bert Layne
Year: c. 1934(1)
Genre: Bluegrass

I'm just a poor ex-soldier, that's broken down and blue,
Fought out in the Great War(4), for the old red, white, and blue.
I left my parents and my girl I loved, to France did go,
And fought out on the battlefield through hunger, sleet, and snow.
This song was originally posted on
I saw my buddies dying, and some shell shocked and torn,
Although we never faltered at the Battle of the Marne(5),
And we were told when we left home we'd be heroes of the land,
So we came back and found no one would lend a helping hand.

They promised gold and silver(6), and bid us all adieu.
They said they'd welcome us back home when the terrible war was through.
We fought until the war was o'er, they said we'd won the fight,
But we have no job nor money, no place to sleep at night.
This song was originally posted on
They called us wandering boys, bums, asking for shelter and bread;
Although we fought in no man's land and a-many poor boy is dead.
So listen to my story and lend a helping hand,
To the poor forgotten soldier boy who fought to save our land.


1 - Recorded by Asher Sizemore, on Bluebird records B-6021, 27 February, 1934, and the Monroe Brothers, on Montgomery Ward record 7140 and Bluebird B-6829, 12 October, 1936

2 - Country Music Records: A Discography, 1921-1942, by Tony Russell and Bob Pinson, p.633.

3 - Bert Layne biography.

4 - The Great War (to end all wars), World War 1.

5 - The First Battle of the Marne from the Encyclopaedia Britannica.

6 - The U.S. soldiers had been promised a bonus for fighting and then were denied it. They formed the Bonus Expeditionary Force and marched to Washington, D.C., in 1932 to demand the federally promised bonus be paid. Additional information on the Bonus Army, as they were also known, is available from EyeWitness to History.